March 25, 2019 | Updates

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Americans Urge Elected Officials To Protect What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Health Care

As the Affordable Care Act begins its tenth year as the law of the land, voices throughout the nation are encouraging elected officials to come together to protect and improve upon what is working and fix what is broken in America’s health care, while opposing a one-size-fits-all system.

Jim Hynes, Labor Leader, Minnesota:

There is no question that America’s health care system needs fixes, but what we need to figure out is how best to make that a reality – not by scrapping the entire system – but by strengthening what’s working and fixing what’s broken.

As someone who works in health benefits and helps to provide care to thousands of union workers and their families, I find proposals to eliminate the existing coverage that so many of my members depend on and move them to a new government run plan very concerning.  Overturning how patients receive their health coverage, without giving them control over the decision, is a serious matter …

As for turning over control of our health care to the government, we recently emerged from the longest partial government shutdown in our nation’s history.  With that in mind, I would be far more comfortable depending on our union’s health plan than relying solely on the federal government.

Tammi Fisher, Former Mayor, Montana:

It is only in the last 10 years that “Medicare for All” has become the “health care equality” catch phrase and proffered solution to rising health care costs.  But Medicare isn’t health care; Medicare is insurance … once we move to single payer, the insureds – you and I – won’t dictate what procedures we need or want, Medicare will.  The insureds won’t determine who our doctor is, Medicare will.  And since Medicare pays about 60 percent of the amount other insurers pay for the same procedure or physician visit, the current shortage of physicians in America will escalate, leaving rural states in the cold …

Recruiting good physicians to remote areas is incredibly difficult even without single payer health care.  And if the health care in and of itself is unavailable, the value of single payer is pretty minimal … Unquestionably, our health care system is broken and in need of a fix, but the fix must work for all Americans, not just those who live in high population areas.

Rhett Cox, New York:

As a Type I diabetic, anything affecting medical care is of personal interest to me.  There has been much discussion of instituting a single-payer healthcare system in New York, so I read through the proposed bill … to see its implications.  While the concept of fixing our healthcare sounds appealing, there are many concerns with this bill …

In a free market system, you can take your business somewhere else if the services being provided are inadequate.  In this system, the government will have power to decide which healthcare services to provide and to withhold, and even if they don’t provide the care we think beneficial, we will be forced to pay the system anyway.  Allowing our politicians to set up a healthcare system that we have little say in, and will not allow us to turn to other systems if it fails, seems irrational.

Len Lorence, Businessman, Minnesota:

The “Medicare for All” as described by those seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination barely resembles the Medicare program as it currently exists … The reality of Medicare is that it is not free, deductibles are fairly high, and providers do not recover their costs … If we extend this program to a family of four, the monthly premium would be $1,084 and all the other co-pays and deductibles would be unchanged.  Not quite the “free” medical program that the Democrats tout.

Some will argue that we cannot continue with the medical insurance system we currently have and they have a very good case.  However, “Medicare for All” is not the solution.  It is not Medicare, it does nothing to lower provider costs, and there is no evidence that health outcomes will be better than we currently enjoy.

James Bernholtz, Veteran, Ohio:

 If our nation cannot keep a promise and provide access to timely and high-quality health care for the men and women who fought for our freedom, it seems unreasonable to believe that the government will be able to do so for every American.

While our health-care system isn’t perfect, throwing out the whole system and starting over is not the answer. We need to focus on building on the successful foundations we have in place, promoting public and private markets working together and increasing choices and competition to drive down costs.

When the VA was denying me treatment I need as a result of my service, I was thankful that I had access to great employer-provided insurance.  That may not be an option for the more than 180 million Americans who are currently covered by employer-sponsored insurance if Medicare for all is pursued.  To me, that just doesn’t make sense.

Steven Trobiani, Doctor, Minnesota:

… While our system is certainly not perfect, it is still far better than a government-run system could ever hope to be.  Today, over 90 percent of Minnesotans have health insurance, the vast majority covered by plans sponsored by their employer.  A single-payer system would force these Minnesotans off of their current health insurance plan and take critical decisions about health out of the hands of patients and their loved ones and into the hands of Washington bureaucrats.

A single-payer system also comes with a price tag that is simply unaffordable, with estimates putting the cost at over $30 trillion over the next decade, accompanied by an average annual tax increase of $24,000/household.  Can you and your family afford a $24,000 tax increase?  A massive tax increase is hardly the way to ensure access to affordable health care.


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